This film is part of Free


Skate, rattle and roll as the roller skate fad hits Plymouth.

News 1982 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Quayside Rollarena in Coxside Plymouth opens in 1981 as an import from America. At this time quad skates, as opposed to the up and coming inline skates, are absolutely the new fad and roller discos become weekly events, especially for teenagers and young adults. Although roller hockey and roller discos continue to this day, they no longer command quite the attention they once did.

The Rollarena provided entertainment from 1981 until 1988 before closing suddenly due to a drop in attendance. Dance music took teenagers away from the by now staid roller disco into new generation night clubs. Although a demonstration on roller skates was held in the centre of Plymouth and its attendees hoped for a new buyer or a reprieve, the Rollarena was turned into office space and is now the site of a car showroom. The Life Centre in Plymouth holds roller skating in its sports hall and encourages old and new roller skaters to move clockwise to newer rhythms - breaks are still held for games such as a short sprint race or a tug of war in keeping with the old traditions and protective wear is available.